The Orlando Magic, owners of the Nos. 1, 32 and 35 picks in the NBA draft, will have multiple chances to add to their roster on June 23.
After kicking off a rebuild in March 2021, the Magic already have significant young talent. Orlando has nine players who were drafted in the first round since 2017 signed to contracts for the 2022-23 season.
Nonetheless, the Magic have clear needs after finishing 2021-22 with a 22-60 record.
As the roster stands, Orlando needs a 3-and-D wing/forward — with an emphasis on reliable 3-point shooting — who has good size and length for their position. The Magic also could use another big/center, depending on what happens with Mo Bamba’s restricted free agency.
After taking a step forward in their pre-draft evaluations during the mid-May NBA draft combine in Chicago, the Magic are hosting prospects for workouts ahead of the draft.
This story is part of a series on players the Magic either interviewed or worked out in Orlando:
Gabe Brown (Michigan State)
Height: 6-foot-8 | Weight: 215 pounds | Age: 22 | Wingspan: 7 feet
2021-22 averages: 11.6 points (42.8% from the field — 49% on 2s, 38.2% on 3s), 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
Connection: Worked out for the Magic on May 25
Note: Just because a player is working out for a team doesn’t mean they’re a target to be drafted. A team not working out a prospect also doesn’t mean they won’t draft them. Six pre-draft prospects are allowed on the court at a time and aren’t allowed on the court with NBA players. Some players sought feedback from NBA teams ahead of the June 1 deadline college players had to decide whether they’ll stay in the draft or withdraw and keep any remaining collegiate eligibility.
The buzz: Brown, a former 4-star in the 2018 recruiting class out of Belleville High School in Michigan, spent four seasons with the Spartans. Last year was his first as a full-time starter. Brown averaged career highs in multiple categories, including minutes, points, rebounds, assists and steals (0.7). He’s expected to be taken in the second round or go undrafted.
Scouting report: Versatile, left-handed wing who has the potential to fit the “3-and-D” mold. Reliable spot-up threat from outside the arc, knocking down 37.9% (154 of 406) of his 3-point attempts in college. Made 89.6% of his free throws on low volume. He’ll need to improve on pull-ups and attacking closeouts to be a more multi-dimensional offensive threat. Doesn’t protect to be a self creator offensively. Athletic and fast, especially on fastbreaks. Should be effective in transition. Good lateral quickness when guarding one-on-one and active in the passing lanes. Times his help rotations well as an off-ball defender.
Fit: Brown would be the kind of player every team looks for if he maximizes his skillset on both ends of the floor. It isn’t clear if he’ll project to be elite at a certain skill and as an older prospect, his perceived ceiling may not be much higher, which would make it difficult for the Magic to take him in the top-35. He could make sense for the organization’s G League team, the Lakeland Magic, or a two-way deal.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.